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Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Monday, 5 July 2010 16:20 UK

Medieval church in Leicestershire needs urgent repair

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A medieval church in Leicestershire is in need of urgent repair due to deterioration over time. English Heritage believes St Mary's in Freeby could face closure or be demolished if it is not restored.

The first ever sample survey of the East Midlands' 1,800 listed places of worship has been published by English Heritage in June 2010.

The results reveal that approximately 90% are in good or fair condition, but 10% are potentially at risk of needing urgent major repairs.

The organisation believes they are in a better position to help those in ordinary parishes who have the responsibility of keeping churches in good repair.

Dr. Anthony Streeten, the English Heritage Regional Director, feels St Mary's needs urgent attention.

"The church serves a small community, who have maintained it extremely well over the years, but some of the stonework needs urgent repairs.

"English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund is providing a scheme of repair grants to places of worship like St Mary's."

St Mary's has not been used for regular worship for more than 10 years as a result of the church's condition. Services have been held at a small chapel in the village.

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